A Prayer for Peace
Alone, behind a splendid table, trembling,
man holds a gun against his aging head
observing, quite detached although with dread,
his seeds of self-spite silently assembling.
Concerned more with our deadlines than the deed,
advisors, aides and correspondents mingle
at deathwatch cocktail parties in our single
pursuit to bring you something fresh to read.
And if my paper has one more edition,
I shall describe the gun, its ammunition
and calibre, and how things had begun
until, dear reader, by default you're able
to fail to recognize behind the table
yourself – the one who could unload the gun.
(For Frank Barnaby)
How distant: like vultures. The multiplying patrol
of military satellites encircles
the green and throbbing earth in patient precision.
And all has been said. And nothing has been resolved.
Our leaders are lost. The poets stare in silence.
The conference halls are filled with warnings defining
in glaring blindness the final peril of war.
The libraries are the mass graves of our finest words
prescribing cautious strategies for survival.
Our mindless means have soared beyond our purpose.
The priests have lowered their gaze. They watch the countdown.
The missiles are primed and humming: aimed at ourselves.
Is this the conclusion, the end of all the millennia,
the logical ending never intended? – My love,
come hold my hand, let's call the children together
and lay the table, my love, and crown the hour
because the earth is giving birth to the future.
This is the end of the era of blood-drenched towers.
Humanity (you and I and the neighbours) must choose
how to use our marvellous powers – and either die
by our science or fulfil the ancient ideal
and deploy our plans to tame and enrich this planet.
And the choice is there in the simple logic of children,
the warmth of your hand and even in these very lines.
ONLY A GIRL
Only a girl ran across the meadow before the disaster.
Vibrant, the grass sprang back celebrating her healthy feet,
clouds of insects whirled in her wake in a torrent of teeming
golden air, and salty moisture cooled the barefooted
girl, her head full of babies, running across the scented
meadow by highways whispering tension and stretching to restless
cities beneath a satellite's mindless, hovering sensors
that registered her movements,
still registered her movements...
Barefooted daydream, girl and grass and insects, and teeming
cities full of babies all withered in the sudden heat.
If the shadow of towering missile systems should fall
across your face, do not wilt in dejection.
For even the tallest of towers cannot grow taller
than human projection.
WHEN HATRED RULES
When hatred rules the nations,
I choose without regret
to be a refugee
among the patriots.
THOMAS ORSZÁG-LAND is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent who writes from London and his native Budapest.
To comment on these poems, please click here.
To help New English Review continue to publish original and interesting poetry such as this, please click here.
If you enjoyed this article and want to read more by Thomas Ország-Land, please click here.
Join leaders of the American Middle Eastern community to endorse
Donald J. Trump
for President of the United States
and spend an evening with his foreign policy advisors featuring
Dr. Walid Phares
and other surprise campaign guests.
Monday October 17th
Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008
cocktails at 6pm - dinner at 7pm
Business casual attire
$150 per person / $1500 per table
Sponsored by the American Mideast Coalition for Trump